Here it is, the day after Christmas, when the usual sense of post-holiday despair sets in. Only this time, I’m at peace with the world and feeling very much contented.
I still love the joy on the faces of my nephews and niece at opening their presents. It’s such a fleeing pleasure that gradually dims a little as they grow another year older.
Speaking of growing older, I’m finding that my own joy comes less and less from the gifts I receive and more and more in the giving. It’s less about the spectacle and more about the quiet moments where the full meaning of the reason for the season sinks in a bit further.
I’m not taking for granted that everyone I love will always be around– even for next Christmas. I’m learning to savor all the times we spend together, to soak in as many memories as I can before it all becomes past tense.
I didn’t quite get around to all the required holiday movie viewing, so I may have to extend the deadline on that one just a bit. I still haven’t seen A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, or Elf yet. I know, I know. I’m seriously slacking.
I’m also thinking of ways to carry on the Christmas spirit beyond December into the new year. I’m thinking of the sermon at the end of The Bishop’s Wife. David Niven’s character says that the best gift for the baby in the manger who’s birthday we’re celebrating is treating others like we want to be treated. Or better yet, treating others and loving others like Jesus has loved us.
There really should be some kind of special observance for December 27. I’m not ready to give up the Christmas season cold-turkey. Maybe I can commemorate it by continuing to live out that spirit of generosity and kindness and seeking to live a more Christlike life.
That should be a good start.